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Website editor’s note:

One of the most controversial aspects of the 5G system proposed for New Zealand (which is similar to the systems proposed for other parts of the world) is that millimetre wave frequencies are proposed to be used as part of the 5G systems. 

The article below describes how  laboratory rats that were exposed to millimetre wave developed changes in their eyes indicative of the early stages of cataract formation.

NB: Please note that part of the text includes graphic descriptions of the injuries suffered by the rats and does not make pleasant reading.

NB: Most of the text for what you will read below has been excerpted from a supplementary submission written in response to the 5G Discussion Document that Radio Spectrum Management of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) recently posted on its website.

The full supplementary submission may be read at this link: https://www.rsm.govt.nz/projects-auctions/current-projects/preparing-for-5g-in-new-zealand/folder-potential-health-effects-of-5g-technology/attachment-submission-267.pdf

(The submission above also relates how millimetre waves have been used in a weapons system developed by the US army and you can read this information excerpted from the submission by clicking HERE and also includes information about how exposure of rats to millimetre waves caused them to develop severe burns and die.  You may read this latter post by clicking HERE.)

If you would like to read other submissions on the 5G issue they may be accessed via this link: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/submissions-on-5g-now-available-online/

 

Animal test data on the effects of exposure to millimetre waves

 

A paper showing eye damage from millimetre wave exposure

 

Research published in 1994 (“Experimental studies on the influence of millimeter radiation on light transmission through the lens” Klin Oczna. 1994 Aug-Sep; 96(8-9):257-9) showed that rats exposed to millimetre wave radiation for only 56 days developed changes in the lens of their eyes. 

The wave length used was 5.6 mm (53 GHz).  The power output was 10 milliwatts/cm2 (100,000,000 microwatts/m2)

The rats’ exposure in this study is higher than the applicable time averaged standard in NZ (NZS 2772.1:1999) which would allow for a maximum (time averaged) exposure of up to 1 W/cm2 (10 million microwatts per square metre) for the general public for 53 GHz.  (It is lower than the peak public exposure limit of 10 billion microwatts per square metre.)

The authors, Prost M, Olchowik G, Hautz W, Gaweda R, conclude the abstract for their study by stating that “radiation in millimetre range can induce changes in the lens, predisposing to cataract development.”

The abstract for the study may be accessed via https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7897988

 

 

Comments

While the level in the study was higher than what is allowed under NZS 2772.1:1999 for the public for time averaged exposure, this study raises concern because a short exposure time (less than two months) caused damage to the lenses of the rats’ eyes.

The study certainly suggests that it would be unwise to allow any increase in allowable non ionising radiation levels to facilitate the development of a 5G system.

It also begs the question, what could happen to human eyes from lower levels of exposure to millimetre waves over a greater time period?

I might add that cataracts are already a problem for many people in NZ and that there has been concern for years that our public health system is not keeping up with the need for cataract surgeries (and that many other people with eye diseases that threaten their vision are having long waits for specialist treatment.)

https://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/news/print/ocular-surgery-news-europe-asia-edition/%7Ba939d562-ed02-4aec-852c-cbc2c545e386%7D/demand-for-cataract-surgery-in-new-zealand-outpaces-resources (2004)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/10176095/Waiting-list-woe-for-cataract-patients (2014)

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/316970/eye-patients-losing-vision-in-long-wait-for-specialists (2016)

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/90821897/patient-prepared-for-blindness-while-waiting-two-years-for-operation (2017)

At present, most people affected by cataracts are in their 70s.

Introducing new technology (such as millimetre wave transmitters and 5G compatible smart phones) that may increase the risk of people developing cataracts after a relatively short time would seem to be a poor idea given the overstretched resources of our public health system.

(It would seem to be a particularly unwise given that the technology could conceivably lead to people developing cataracts at a much younger age than normal, given that many working age people use smart phones as part of their jobs.  An increase in the burden of cataracts in younger people could be expected to adversely impact productivity, in addition to the worry and frustration it could cause to people who fear they could lose their vision.)

 

 

 

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